Five Mermaid Tales to Mark the Streaming Release of 'The Little Mermaid' | Read-Alikes

These magical stories for preschoolers to tweens will appeal to kids swept up in the movie coming to Disney+ on September 6. 

The Little Mermaid

Streaming Sept 6 on Disney+
This live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid stars Black actress Halle Bailey as Ariel and white actress Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. The theatrical release made waves earlier this year. Young Ariel fans will be thrilled to tune in again or meet her for the first time. 


The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown. 2020
PrS-Gr 3–Black mermaid Melody is not content under the sea and exchanges her voice for legs in order to explore the world above in this iteration of the classic tale. Readers interested in the original story should check out this empowering version.

"Oona" series by Kelly DiPucchio. Harper. 2021.
K-Gr 2–Curious and brave Black mermaid Oona travels the sea having adventures in these amusing, fanciful picture books that will safisfy young readers' cravings for more mermaid stories. 

A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow. Harper. 2022.
Gr 4-8–Reeling after the sudden death of her mother, Black middle schooler Kela finds a mermaid’s comb on the beach and is granted one wish in exchange for the item. Her greatest wish is that her mom would return, but the mermaid warns her that big wishes come with a price. Tween fans of the movie wishing to explore some of the deeper themes such as sacrifice and consequence may enjoy this moving, character-driven tale.

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli, illus. by David Wiesner. Clarion. 2017.
Gr 4-8–When a white human girl meets Fish Girl, a mermaid held in a boardwalk tank, they strike up a friendship, inspiring Fish Girl to long for a life beyond the tank. This exploration of freedom and independence will intrigue tweens drawn to mermaid tales. 

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